Why I’ve Taken A Social Media and Blogging Break

I’ve stayed off of social media for quite a bit. I may have poked my head in and out sometimes to see what some of my friends are up to but I have to say it was really nice to step out for the time that I did.

Since I took my break, I’ve really been able to appreciate my surroundings. Instagram can really suck the life out of you and when they changed the algorithm, it was just the perfect indicator for me to reevaluate.

The time we spend scrutinizing our lives, planning pictures, planning insincere content, playing the influencer game just became so fake. Because, that is what it is…it’s fake. We don’t live our lives in these perfectly planned scenarios with perfect lighting everywhere we go in these perfect squares. I probably won’t gain much popularity for saying any of these things, but maybe that’s a good thing. When you start chasing the number of followers and likes on your pictures that it just sucks up your life, maybe you need to reevaluate why your are doing what you are doing. At least, I knew I did.

I started blogging because I enjoyed writing. Not that I am the best at it, but I enjoyed it. Then you see that everyone else is jumping in and you have to up your game a bit and take on sponsored content, some of which is product you know you would never use. Nonetheless, you take it on so that you can stay in the game of an overly saturated niche – that’s when you realize that you just lied to your audience.

In order not to let that company down, when you’re content is sinking, you join a comment pod in order to get your engagement up.

The more you play the game, the further you sink and it just sucks up your life. You have to constantly like, post, comment. I took a break and noticed a significant amount of followers unfollow me and my pictures get less than half the likes I used to. But damn does it feel good.

It’s a liberating feeling to have given up the facade and the game of keeping up with so and so blogger. So I will gladly take plummeting post likes, and I will cheer at the amount of followers to unfollow me – because that means they weren’t really here for the content but instead where just following for a follow back. I want to live an honest and authentic life, and the numbers will no longer rule me. In order to be a creative member of society, you cannot be a slave to these things. Hitler had hundreds of followers, but Jesus only had 12. And no, I’m not comparing myself to Jesus. But as a follower of Christ, it should be my goal to live a more Christ like lifestyle and that is something that I’m definitely going to work harder at doing.

Staged By Social Media

It has taken a few weeks for me to finish this post, mostly because I really wanted to make sure it didn’t come across too negatively to my readers. After coming back from my trip to California to visit family, and then during the 4th of July holiday, I really took some time to be present in my family and reevaluate a few things.

I have mentioned before that I really struggle to be present and focused sometimes, over indulging in my technology due to social media, emails, blogging, etc. It get’s very challenging sometimes, trying to keep up with this social media game where you’re constantly chasing after more followers or likes in order to maintain some sort of relevancy on social media. It’s just the nature of the game- blogging is a competitive thing where there are so many talented bloggers out there that you have to make sure you are always creating great content. It gets challenging for me because I have to constantly remind myself why I’m doing it all the while trying to stay true to myself.

Lately it had been feeling very forced for me, always chasing after that perfectly staged picture that just never feels natural. Getting overwhelmed by trying to finish writing a post, product review, all while making sure my toddler gets fed, bathed, watched, etc. I’m in my third trimester so running after him and making sure all his needs get met is physically exhausting because I’m caring another little in my belly. He is a handful and he needs my patience more than anything, but there are times where he really pushes me and I feel badly for having my attention elsewhere all because I’m doing the “blogging” thing.

So why did I start this blogging adventure?

I did it because I wanted to share my experience. I know I’m not the only hot mess mom out there, still trying to hold on to the little bit of identity left within her. You know, everything you loose in the process of motherhood because you are no longer just for yourself – but you belong to your children. You start to dedicate your life more to shaping and creating the lives and atmosphere of your tiny humans. Whatever time left you may have for yourself, you will probably find it schlumped over the couch trying to catch up on sleep.

I did it because there are stories to tell, that could help others like myself. Especially when it comes to my faith. I try to stay true, I try to provide a hope and an outlet for others that may be struggling with the same experiences. I want to give others hope through my failures – maybe provide for a reason to laugh. I am not perfect, and thankfully God does not require you to be, but it’s my way to reach out there to people I may not have ever gotten a chance to meet personally – and maybe form a connection. Through that connection, maybe I could offer support or healing.

I did it because, I enjoy to write. Not everyone is going to like what I write, but its always been an outlet for me to let it out and keep my sanity. Ever since I could remember, I’ve had a notebook full of thoughts, poems, stories and songs.

So then, why have I become so obsessed with the number of followers and likes on my pictures? Why have I become so focused on the number of comments on my pictures? Am I getting away from why I started this in the first place?

I took a few weeks off just so that I could ground myself and realize that although I may not have all the followers or picture likes in the world – that is not why I started all of this. I do not want to force real connections or real engagement. If that means it may take me more time to build those relationships, then so be it. I want to be able to present during life and not miss out on every milestone that my kiddo goes through. I don’t want to force him to take that “perfect” picture only for him to hate being in front of the camera because mommy is making him take another picture. I want to laugh, I want to live, I want to be present and just be in the moment.

So I encourage you to let life happen and just be apart of the ride. Take that picture, post it, and who cares if it isn’t in the perfect lighting. Be blind fully present, take in the moments because one day, they will just be pictures and memories. Enjoy your lives, don’t live it for others or for that perfect moment of product placement. Be authentically you, even if the picture doesn’t agree, or the hashtag doesn’t fit. Be true to yourself.

The Untold Story of Being a Stay At Home Parent

Before having children, I only dreamt of being able to stay home with my kiddos, being able to be apart of their growing development. I honestly never dreamed I’d ever have the opportunity to do so. Then, God blessed our family and as of now I am able to watch after my son while expecting another one on the way. Although there are so many wonderful things that you get to experience while staying at home with your child, there are so many challenges that come with being a stay at home parent. I am not here to complain, I know I am very lucky to be able to take care of my child but there is so much that people just don’t understand about how much it takes out of a person.

I used to work a full time, career path job. I was a project coordinator for a promotional products company in the San Fernando Valley located in California. I have always held a steady, full time job since I was 18. Being able to fully depend on myself financially is something very empowering and gave me a sense of security. The challenge from this transition is the guilt I feel when I’m not able to help out my family financially. On the months that we have struggled financially, I have really felt the blow of being a burden and just have had the feeling of being a useless asset to our family. Yes, I know I am at home – cleaning, feeding the baby, cooking dinner, washing and folding the laundry, constantly going. But for some reason, it just never feels like its enough.

When my son was old enough, I started my own Etsy shop. Thankfully, it was quite a success but then I struggled with time management and I was often left with not enough hours in the day to get everything finished. I would work until 2 in the morning to finish up orders only to come in to the next room and see it in shambles. The dishes needed washing, the trash needed to be taken out, my son would wake up every hour if I wasn’t sleeping or cuddling next to him and my husband would come home to no meal cooked. I felt like a failure.

Although I was able to make a decent profit and help pay for some bills, something was always suffering. I felt I was neglecting my son’s needs and often just left him to cry so I could finish what I needed to do. This left me feeling so guilty, because he still needed me. I often snapped at him because I was exhausted trying to keep up with so many things – I had to finally close my shop because I realized that I was a wife and mother first.

The guilt never really seems to go away because the grass always seems greener on whichever side you’re not currently on. Women who work bring home money but don’t get to see their children grow up. And stay at home mothers get to watch their children grown up but then are left with years of non work experience and are deemed unemployable because of their lack of “in field” experience. There’s the misconception that we just stay at home and do “nothing” all day – but let me tell you, some days I feel like I haven’t stopped. Being a stay at home parent can be very lonely, especially because you don’t get any interaction with other adults unless its John from Citi Bank trying to collect on your bill. The feeling of neglect is overwhelming sometimes but I often don’t say anything about it to anyone because I truly appreciate my husband for what he does for us and I love my son. I know that its neither of their intentions to have me feel unappreciated.

There is usually no one else to talk to about our struggles so there is no venting allowed. If you do open your mouth, you are often faced with the judgements and criticisms of others telling you “well, you’re lucky that you can even stay home,” or “they will only be young and rebellious for so long until they want to leave with their friends (regarding your kids),” or “girl, you’re so lucky – you don’t have to go to work,” etc. I often just keep my mouth shut because no one will truly understand unless they are in a similar situation.

At the end of the day, yes I do feel so very blessed that I get to be watching over my son and taking care of our home. It is an indescribable feeling to be able to watch him grow and learn and just to continue to grow that bond with him. Although it is very challenging, I would not change it for the world. But it will be a constant struggle and adjustment because there are some days when you need time to yourself. To recharge your batteries, to go out and actually be able to indulge in the soup and salad combo at Panera Bread without feeling guilty for it because the amount you spent there could have been split for a meal for you and your kiddo.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, the guilt might not ever truly fade. You just have to keep reminding yourself that you are an irreplaceable part of your family dynamic. Your family depends on you to take care of the things that they don’t see and take for granted because someone else (you) is getting them done. You are feeding, nurturing, comforting, and loving your family and that itself does not have a price tag my dear. Your “office” will always be dirty, filled with soiled diapers and sippy cups that need to be cleaned but your heart will always be full. One day, all the chaos will settle and you will miss the pile of dirty laundry on the floor with a side of Tonka trucks by the side of the kitchen. Give yourself the time that you need, make your husband stay at home while you take a long drive to 7-ll and get yourself that slurpee. Blast the radio and let your hair dance in the air in its full mom bun glory. And if you see a fellow stay at home mother, salute her, encourage her. Let her know that she is appreciated.

So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.

1 Timothy 5:14

Update: My Life Right Now

Last week, my husband went away on a business trip leaving me to hold down the fort with my toddler and pregnant self. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled because I knew how much I would miss him and how much more I would have to step up my game around the house because he really helps me out in all avenues at home. With my sciatic nerve, especially during pregnancy – I can be left pretty immobilized at times so I was really worried when he left. Some days, just slightly bending down to pick up toys can leave my lower back in excruciating pain.

Well, it hasn’t even been a full week since he’s been gone and me and AJ already miss him so much. You don’t really realize how much your other half does for you until you are left to do it all yourself. Like throwing out the trash, or picking up your toddler when he escapes your grasp and runs off. There’s only so much a pregnant belly can handle!

I’m sure I’m amusing our neighbors when I make 5 trips up and down the stairs with arms full of groceries and a toddler on my hip. Ah, the strong will of motherhood! Honestly, I don’t know how I’m doing it. I’ve never been so exhausted and grateful for all that my husband does for us, without even having to ask him. I know I have one of the best ones in the book, which makes it so much harder because missing him is not easy.

Every time I open the front door, my son screams out “daddy” because he’s used to him coming home from work so he knows he’s usually the only one coming in the door. That’s the hardest. AJ misses his rough play and nightly shower times. He is so smart for such a small little guy.

I guess what I’m trying to say here ladies is, if you have a good husband – make sure they know how much you appreciate them. I know I always try to. I truly give it up to military wives who have to hold down the fort for months at a time while their husbands are deployed – I know it must not be easy! Thank goodness for technology and video chatting through cell phones! I can at least see his handsome face from time to time.

Mommy of 1, Now Mommy of Two!

So, I know I have been missing in action…again! Owning an Etsy shop started consuming my life, aside from the already time consuming 24/7 job I have of being a work at home/ stay at home mother. The past 5 months had become so stressful and I was at the point of a mental breakdown, but I didn’t understand why I had started becoming so overwhelmed so easily.

I had lost my passion for the pieces I was creating, lost sight of why I had started it all. I was snapping at my son because I was so exhausted, sometimes working in to the wee hours of the morning to try and get orders out in a timely manner. All for what I felt was starting to become in vain. I received some negative feedback in my shop which I felt was very unfair, and I took it really to heart because I worked so hard on people’s orders. I thought to myself, why am I neglecting my son for strangers who didn’t appreciate what I was sacrificing? So I decided to take a break from it all.

The negativity had really gotten to me. I felt like a terrible mother who was constantly snapping at her son and not giving him the patience and attention that he deserved.

Then amongst the madness, I received a wonderful surprise.

I was pregnant with baby number 2!!

I received a wonderful blessing during such a trying time in my life, and it gave me so much peace and hope.

So, those are the reasons why I have been “out of the office,” lately. But I have a feeling I will be posting more now that I have so many more experiences to be documenting.

Till next time!

~G

Confessions of a Stay at home Mom

I used to always be aware of time. I’ve always liked to schedule my time to try and get the most out of my day. A typical day for me in the past would start with: getting ready for work, preparing lunch for my husband and I, feeding all my animals, and then off I was to my commute for work. Work from 9-5, off of work, drive to pick up hubby, and off we were on our commute back home. This was very single day, the same routine.  And then there was the weekend. Sounds kind of boring when you have an unfulfilling job and you feel like you’re lacking a purpose.

Now, I am a stay at home mother and although I have finally found the most fulfilling job that gave me a purpose – I still run in to obstacles. In a previous post I went on to describe my experiences with my “fussy baby” and although I love my new job, I can’t help to sometimes feel unappreciated. It seems to me that society really praises women who chose to put their careers before their family. Maybe it’s because not too long ago, women were not allowed to have careers? I mean, more power to you if you are pursuing your dreams – this is not a women’s bashing post what-so-ever, I’m just kind of tired of the misconceptions people have regarding what a stay at home mother really is.

I can remember a conversation I had with a friend a few years back; we were discussing our futures and aspirations. She went on to list off all the possible career choices she was considering and what her dreams were. When it got to me, I had a list too – one that I had put together because people expect these types of answers. But instead I chose to just be honest and say what was in my heart. “I just want to have a family and be a mother.” Well, the response on her face alone shamed me but when she finally uttered the words “that’s it?” I kind of felt embarrassed and went on to list off a few other career choices that were within the major that I was studying.

Now a days, we pay people to watch our children so we can go out to the world and pursue other things; careers. Some people don’t really have much of a choice and for financial reasons, they have to get jobs in order to provide for their families and there is no shame in that. There’s no shame in any of it, but why do I have to be ashamed for what I love to do?

When I was a working woman with a career, I did not find much fulfillment in it but obviously I had to work for financial reasons. I also wanted to make sure I had a strong working record to build a strong resume. All things I have accomplished, but didn’t fulfill me.

I know on most days, it’s hard for me to get through the judgments of other – what I like to call “Mean Moms.” They seem to nit pit at every decision that you make, or one up you every time you think you did something really great for your kid.

I think what’s important is to do what is right for you and your family. Whether that is to stay at home with your child or choosing to work – just own it. And don’t let others make you feel like what you are doing is wrong. No one lives in your shoes; no one knows your fears, your struggles, and your financial situation.

Just keep on rocking that mom life you’re living!

~G

Top Ten Awkward And Confusing Moments Every First Time Mother Goes Through That No One Prepares You For

There are a lot of things people warn you about when you are expecting your first child: the sleepless nights, colicky babies, the unlimited amounts of diaper changing, etc. But there are a few things that people forget to mention that I don’t think anyone can really prepare you for. Moments that get you when you least expect it which leave you shocked and just a little bit confused.

The First Time Your Baby Pee’s on You

So, you noticed your baby’s diaper is soiled; you start your diaper changing routine. And then out of nowhere – he gets you!! Not just a little bit either, enough that now the mattress is soaked and the sheets need to be thrown in the washer. Total rookie move.

Newborns Scratch Their Faces Off

No one ever warned me that babies scratch at their faces, so when I watched my little guy go to town on his little bitty face – it made me gasp in fear! I bought hand mittens and even used socks on his hands because he got them dirty so quickly. The bad thing about them was that they left his cute little hands smelling like vinegar. Once, I was backed up on laundry so I let his little hands free….BIG MISTAKE! I turn around to the shrieking sounds of my baby (not even a month old yet) pulling his own hair with all his little baby strength in a death grip, right on his soft spot!! He was screaming in pain but I think I was screaming in fear louder than him. When I finally got his grip to loosen, I held him while crying hysterically and giving him little baby kisses. It was one of the most traumatizing experiences as of yet.

The Dreaded Car Seat.

I don’t know what it is about that car seat that makes my kid go bonkers but for the first few months, going anywhere was just dreadful. The look he gives me after he’s finally strapped in, then he sees me get up to go to the front seat – is that of ultimate betrayal. There is nothing more stressful than to hear the cries and screams of your child coming from the backseat of your car and fighting every urge to just stop the car and jump back there to soothe him. If my husband is driving, I will just jump back there mid drive to try and stop the madness.

Poopie Leaks

Always happens at the most inopportune time but you hear it…then you see it. That moment when you’re out in public and your kid poops himself.  Then you realize the poop somehow made its way out of the diaper and in my case – always makes it on to his upper back! How the heck did it even get there???!! I run to the restroom holding my baby like a football and diaper bag in the other hand, use all the wipes and realize…I FORGOT TO PACK THAT EXTRA ONESIE!  -_-

Pretending to be asleep

My son always fights his sleep, as if he’s going to miss out on some secret party he thinks me and his dad are throwing. He’s also a light sleeper so when rocking him to sleep, he sometimes wakes up a little bit earlier than anticipated.  When he does this, I shut my eyes and pretend I’m sleeping in hopes that he will just go back to sleep. I’ll even throw in some fake snoring to make it believable. Sometimes, he buys it and goes back to sleep! It’s the little victories in life!!

Breastfeeding in public

Some women are really good with this concept, for me however I just couldn’t get over my shyness. I didn’t want anyone starring at me while my baby ate, or judging me so I always felt a little awkward when I needed to feed my little guy. Instead, I would go hide somewhere to feed him: the backseat of the car, in the bathrooms at the restaurants we would eat at, etc. I tried nursing covers but they seem to attract more attention and made my little guy hot. I always admired the women who were strong enough to nurse in public and handle public ridicule with boldness and grace.

The Boob Snatching

That awkward moment when you’re having a conversation with someone and your baby  thinks it’s a good idea to pull your shirt down, almost exposing your breasts to the world. You try to stop him but he then thinks it’s funny to go ahead and motorboat you. -_- This is his way of saying, “mommy, I’m hungry – stop talking and give me the boobies!”

Using Your Bra as the Ultimate Holder Keeper

There are a few things that I always need in a case of an emergency but always seem to loose.  However, it seems like there is never enough time to reach for those items due to the excessive crying so out of desperation, I have resorted to stashing them in my bra. These things include:

  1. The Pacifier. In times when the baby just needs to be pacified.
  2. My nipple guard. For nursing and to prevent biting. Because baby boy needs to eat.. NOW!!

You Learn to Eat In Less than 5 Minutes

If you even get time to eat a whole meal, consider yourself lucky! Most of the time, if I have a second to eat – I usually just snatch a snack sized meal that comes from a box or that I can microwave in just a few seconds. Then, when I attempt to eat it – I have to fight the grasps and reaches from my little guy. He usually climbs on my face and uses my hair as rope while he tries to reach for my food. It’s like a modern day baby wrestling match. If I don’t share my food with him, he grunts and smacks my face in protest. I pick my battles and he’s a bit of a bully.

Eww..What’s that smell?

Yea, that’s you. If you even get a chance to take a shower, it better be 3 minutes or less. My little guy hates if I’m not in his sight, so putting him down is something that usually never gets done. I even have to hold him while he sleeps because he wouldn’t have it any other way. If I want a longer shower time, I have to wait for my husband to get home from work and practically beg him to hold the baby while I take a shower. Asking for time to blow dry my hair would be pushing it. As soon as I leave the room, the baby already starts crying! I’ve started to shower with him now, which at least gets me to a happy medium but I feel like it’s not very productive.

Now, these are my top ten but I’m sure there are many other moments I may be leaving out. What are your awkward moments not listed above? Share by posting in the comment box below.

Staying Golden In The Evergreen State (First Blog!!!)

If you had told me two years ago that I would be relocating to beautiful state of Washington from Southern California, to say the least I would not have believed you. If you had told me that I would be 7 months pregnant during this relocation, I would have told you that you were completely bonkers! But that is what happened! Unexpectedly, my husband had to make a career move that would send us on our way to a new adventure through the Pacific North West!

When my husband first left, I was 5 months pregnant and had to stay in our Southern California home for two months while he got our situation settled. During this time, I still went to work full time and managed a heavy commute of about an hour and fifteen minutes (there and back)! I had a really rough pregnancy, which made things pretty complicated for me. For the first, I want to say 4-5 months of pregnancy – I couldn’t keep anything down. I could barely indulge in a crisp cup of water without hurling. Then when the 5 month mark came around, I suffered from dizzy spells that left me pretty concerned, especially because I had to tackle such a tough commute. I eventually had to stay with my parents for this period of time. They thankfully lived only 3 minutes away from my job which allowed more rest for me. For the normal person, this would seem like the ideal situation however I was a fur mommy to 4 dogs and a bunny rabbit. Yes, I am one of those people. So I had to still travel back and forth to make sure they were taken care of.

Anyway, when my husband finally came for me I was thrilled. My husband and I have a really strong bond – ever since I had met him, he just understood me in a way that no one else could. Not to get all sappy, but I love him with all my heart and soul. He is my best friend and someone I always lean on when times get rough. So when we were apart for two months – it weighed heavily on the both of us.

As we drove through California and onto Oregon in the big Budget truck we rented, we pondered upon this new chapter in our lives and wondered about all the new things that were to come. I had never seen so many beautiful trees and greenery; it was like a beautiful movie that we were experiencing. Although I was excited, I knew I would miss my family and friends back in California. I hadn’t lived anywhere else but SoCal for the majority of my life. I was born in Peru and moved to the United States as a toddler, so all I really knew was the San Fernando Valley. Even though I knew I would miss them, I had always dreamed about raising my children in a place where you get a full autumn and get to experience all the gorgeous seasons.

17 plus hours later, we had finally made it! Excitement and joy filled my body as we drove through what seemed to me to be an enchanted place filled with gigantic looking Christmas trees! Who doesn’t love Christmas all year long? It was like watching the movie Twilight, only without the bad acting and make believe characters and all.

There started our great adventure to the new beginning of our lives.

unnamed (7)

unnamed (9)

unnamed (8)

unnamed (11)

unnamed

 

unnamed (3)

unnamed (4)

 

unnamed (6)

unnamed (2)

unnamed (10)